Tooting MP Sadiq Khan hosts evening reception ahead of his first London Marathon


The 43-year-old says he is 70% excited and 30% scared about the race.


By Kat Bawmwang

Tooting MP Sadiq Khan and a group from the London Evening Standard held a reception last night to launch their London Marathon team raising money for the Dispossessed Fund. 

It was a night to inform their supporters of the main message behind their reasons for running, as well as celebrate with them in the beautiful State Rooms at the Speaker’s House in the House of Commons.

People from various backgrounds attended, including Mr Khan’s family, the marathon race director and beneficiaries of the fund.

Mr Khan affirmed that fundraising is not about party politics as Chancellor George Osbourne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg are sponsoring him, but rather taking action to help out a worthy cause. This premise of social action over political faction could be the reason why more MPs are running the 2014 London Marathon than ever before.

Mr Khan also shared how Campaigns Editor David Cohen persuaded him to join their team as a late addition by stating that it was the work of the fund that made the prospect of running a marathon worthwhile.

“We are without a doubt the greatest city in the world with the greatest marathon in the world. Too many Londoners don’t get the fruits they deserve from the greatest city,” he said.

Mr Cohen shed light on the Dispossessed Fund’s conception, explaining how it started in 2010 as a request to raise £1 million. The fund has now fundraised £12.2 million, with around half of the money already distributed to 737 charities and groups across London.

“You may know that the London Marathon takes in very iconic sights such as the London Eye,” he said.

“What you may not know is we pass through six boroughs in which 123 charitable groups are funded by the Dispossessed Fund.”

Chief Executive Officer of the London Communtiy Foundation, Sonal Shah, said the money raised will tackle a vast range of issues including unemployment, homelessness and gang culture.

“It’s about Londoners taking action to help their fellow Londoners,” she added.

“Although some of the organisations are large, the majority are pretty small. They are locally based. They’re run by volunteers and they start as a result of someone seeing something wrong in their local community and thinking ‘I want to make a difference to that’.”

Jonathan Lawson, 21, a representative of SE1 United, which is funded by the Dispossessed Fund, said: “It feels right to come and pay respects and show that you are actually very grateful and thankful for what they do because they are allowing people to run projects and different organizations.

“It is also further outreach to young people, which can, one day, actually support them.”

Mr Lawson is now studying Arabic, French, fashion and photography.

“You can hear a name but when you see them in the flesh then you really know that that person has done something for me,” he added.

When asked how ready he was for the marathon, Mr Khan said that he had been training hard with Mr Cohen and following a strict Sunday schedule.

“I’m 70% excited and 30% scared,” he said.

“Sometimes I want it to be tomorrow. It’s like an exam and you’re ready and you want it to come now.”

If you are interested in supporting MP Sadiq Khan and the London Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund then visit

Further information can be found for the following organisations:

London Community Foundation

SE1 United

Follow us @SW_Londoner

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